An anti-Trump rally scheduled for next month outside the White House won’t only condemn the “appalling bigotry and racism” spewed by the president, but could also shape up to be a test of African-American leaders’ support for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Speaking to Fox News, organizers of the April 21 rally at “Donald Trump’s doorstep” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, former NFL player Colin Kaepernick and several Black members of Congress are expected to attend the event. News of the rally comes amid calls for Black lawmakers to denounce Farrakhan, who’s become known for his rhetoric against whites, Jews and members of the LGBTQ community.
“Condemn President Donald Trump and leave Louis Farrakhan alone,” organizer Malik Zulu Shabazz, president of Black Lawyers for Justice, told the new site. “Please don’t try to stop us because we will not turn back. We’ll represent professionally and politically, vigorously.”
Rally organizers described the event as a sort of follow-up effort by activists who helped facilitate the 1995 Million Man March, which was organized by Farrakhan and NOI. Other speakers named in the event’s press release include New Black Panther Party Chairman Hashim Nzinga, Sharpton, a few Black Lives Matter leaders, and Women’s March activist Tamika D. Mallory.
A spokesman for Mallory later confirmed to Fox that she wouldn’t be speaking at the event, however.
It remains unclear which Congressional Black Caucus members will attend the march and rally, which are part of a multi-day National Black Men’s Convention at the nation’s capitol. Eight caucus members have faced backlash for their ties, both past and present, with Min. Farrakhan, so much so that they’ve been pressured by Jewish groups to publicly denounce him — or be forced to resign.
A handful of Black politicians either have distanced themselves from the Muslim leader, or condemned racist rhetoric without specifically mentioning Farrakhan. The repudiation was all the same to NOI leaders who dubbed Black leaders who disavowed Farrakhan “sellouts.”
“We’re going to get some action,” Shabazz told Fox News. “Because regardless, we’re going to get to know these Congressional Black Caucus people — and they are going to know that they are not going to bow to white people, they are going to bow to us.”
The forthcoming rally follows a March 19 lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill in which scores of Black leaders and organizations turned out to “CONDEMN TRUMP, NOT FARRAKHAN!” That event was organized in response to “calls from the GOP for Democrats and Congressional Black Caucus members to officially condemn…Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan,” according to a press release.